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Gladiators ‘toughest’, University Challenge ‘hardest’ and Tipping Point ‘easiest’ game shows

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Gladiators ‘toughest’, University Challenge ‘hardest’ and Tipping Point ‘easiest’ game shows

Gladiators has been voted TV’s toughest game show according to new research.

Two-thirds of Brits (68%) said they doubted they could be a winner on the show – which sees members of the public face off against elite athletes across a series of challenges – with half believing they stood no chance at all. Researchers presented viewers with 20 of the most popular game shows, featuring a mix of skill games, quizzes and those based on physical challenges. They then asked them to judge each show on how well they believed they would perform as a contestant to discover which they rated the toughest.

Jeff Richey, TV analyst at WatchTVAbroad.com:

“Brits would rather test their luck on game shows like Catchphrase than face off against Gladiators’ top athletes – and it’s not hard to see why. As they watch from the comfort of their sofas, viewers feel more confident on shows that involve brain power and rate challenges involving brawn – such as taking on the dreaded ‘Eliminator’ assault course – as tougher to beat.

“With short and intense seasons, weekly event TV like Ninja Warrior can have more impact and seem far more intimidating to compete in than the cosy environment of a daytime quiz. With classics like Pointless occupying weekday schedules for years, many viewers will also feel they have developed skills in these games by watching them. This familiarity might also explain the number of confident Brits who back themselves to conquer a real-life Squid Game, having previously binged on the hit series.”

Gladiators, which is set to return on the BBC this winter, finished top, just ahead of military-based reality show SAS: Who Dares Wins (66.8%), while the fiendish obstacle courses of Ninja Warrior helped it come third (66.6%) in the toughness stakes. Next came new Netflix series Squid Game: The Challenge (64.7%), pipping the freshly rebooted castaway series Survivor (64.4%).

Tough showing: the 10 hardest game shows

Rank

Game show

% of people who don’t think they would win

1

Gladiators (BBC)

67.6%

2

SAS: Who Dares Wins (Channel 4)

66.8%

3

Ninja Warrior (ITV/STV)

66.6%

4

Squid Game – The Challenge (Netflix)

64.7%

5

Survivor (BBC)

64.4%

6

University Challenge (BBC)

64.3%

7

Total Wipeout (BBC)

61.1%

8

Mastermind (BBC)

60.1%

9

The Cube (BBC)

57.0%

10

Countdown (Channel 4)

54.4%

Yet while most viewers would shy away from challenging Gladiators’ titans, one in eight bold Brits believe they could win the new Squid Game show, despite huge odds of 1 in 456.

Squid Game: The Challenge, inspired by the hit TV series, arrives on Netflix next week with a huge $4.56 million (£3.7 million) prize.

The show, which was filmed in the UK, will feature some of the iconic challenges from the drama, including Red Light, Green Light and the Glass Tile Game, without the fatal consequences of failure.

However, despite having to beat 455 other contestants to walk away with the cash, 12% of people in the UK claim they’d have a very good or good chance of winning.

Younger viewers feel most confident of being “squids in”, with a fifth of 16-24-year-olds (22%) backing themselves to triumph, compared with 1 in 25 (4%) of those over 55. The East of England was the UK’s most optimistic region with 15% of people fancying their chances of success, while in Wales just 4% think they could be the ultimate victor.

Jeff Richey, TV analyst at WatchTVAbroad.com:

“Ultimately all these shows thrive on our love for cheering – or jeering – from our living rooms, as we imagine ourselves answering questions others got wrong, or making the right decisions where they stumbled. It’s this connection that will keep us watching for years to come.”

The study showed that Brits are far more confident using their brains than their brawn, with eight out of ten of the shows rated as easiest to win based mainly on quiz skills or general knowledge.

ITV’s Tipping Point, which mixes general knowledge and luck, was seen as the safest bet for contestants, with one in three viewers (32%) backing themselves to win it. Catchphrase (29.2%) was ranked the next easiest show, ahead of Blankety Blank (28.8%), The Chase (26%) and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (25%).

University Challenge was rated the toughest UK quiz, with 64% of viewers believing they would struggle as a team member. This was followed by the big black chair of Mastermind (60%) and daytime classic Countdown (54%).

Piece of cake: the 10 easiest game shows

Rank

Game show

% of people who would back themselves to win

1

Tipping Point (ITV/STV)

31.8%

2

Catchphrase (ITV/STV)

29.2%

3

Blankety Blank (BBC)

28.8%

4

The Chase (ITV/STV)

26.1%

5

Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? (ITV/STV)

24.8%

6

Pointless (BBC)

22.4%

7

Bullseye (ITV/STV)

22.3%

8

Countdown (Channel 4)

19.1%

9

The Crystal Maze (Channel 4)

18.8%

10

Tenable (ITV/STV)

16.7%

Source of the findings: WatchTVAbroad.com

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